Churches open for homeless people

Newport, UK - Churches in Newport are opening their doors to homeless people during the winter to provide them with food and a warm bed.

The Newport Night Shelter, which launches on Monday, will help between 10 and 15 people during December and January.

Seven Newport churches will take them in for one night every week.

Around 20 volunteers were sleeping rough in the city over the weekend to raise money for the scheme.

Project coordinator, Jade Holtham, of Newport Teen Challenge, which is helping with the project, said she came up with the idea after seeing a similar scheme in London.

"Winter can be bitterly cold and wet but we're hoping that this December and January, 10 to 15 people, who would otherwise be sleeping rough, will have a regular place to sleep and eat," she said.

"On the same night each week, one church will be opening its doors and letting the homeless people sleep in it overnight.

"They will also be served dinner and breakfast by the volunteers in each church, with some volunteers also staying the night at the church.

"The following night, the homeless people will be able to sleep in the next church involved in the project and so on, with their bedding being transferred there during the day."

She said the churches and agencies who deal with homeless people had all been very positive about the project.

Local businesses have also supported them, providing items such as sleeping materials.